tv Morning Joe MSNBC December 28, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PST
thursday, december 28th. welcome to "morning joe." a beautiful picture of washington rk d.c. i'm willie geist. joe and mika have the day off. we have sam stine, rick tyler, author of the book "a world in disarray," richard haass. good morning, everybody. >> good morning. >> we have an addendum to your book? >> 5,000 word focusing on the factor of the year, the foreign policy of donald trump. >> one line take away out of the those 5,000 words. >> he is a disrupter, not a preserver. as a result, the united states that has been the foundation of the world no longer is. >> the world is still in disarray. >> greater disarray. >> greater disarray. >> we are going talk about tillerson and north korea.
that's all coming up. new polling engaging american's top concerns. taxes, the environment and immigration were at the top when asked which issues the government should address in 2018. topping the list is health care. 48% of americans said health care is the top domestic issue. this is up 5% from 2017 and 17% from 2016. at 31%, concerns about taxes also increased by 17%. resp respondents were asked about president trump's performance. less than half said he fulfilled campaign promises and democrats say he did not. after the first year in office, 71% of americans say the country is going in the wrong direction. when asked if the country as a whole has been better off since president trump took office, 52% say we are worse off. 25% saying the country is better off.
rick, what jumps out at you? >> startling numbers. terrible numbers for trump, in particular, if you look at the stock market, the economy and gdp growth and the projected gdp growth, he should be riding high and getting what a normal president should get. 60% and 70% range and he's not. >> sam? >> they are dismal numbers. i agree with rick, theoretically, this is the high water mark for him. i don't see what kind of major legislation they do next year. they can continue with the judiciary. what stands out is health care. 48% concerned about health care is a terrible number for the republican party. they are burdened with having whacked obamacare without replacing it there. the irony is they made it on the individual side, while the public side, the medicaid expansion, the government subsidies is likely to be
intact, more or less. it's the opposite of conservative reform, authored by a republican congress and president and they get the benefits. >> susan, what about you? when you look at the numbers what hops off the page? >> if you look at the numbers, how the president is handling the economy or other issues, he tends to trend better, up in the 40s, high 40s. what this tells me is people are very disappointed in donald trump and the divisiveness in the country. one step forward and two steps back. it's his popularity. the culture wars turned the public off to him, not the things he's done as president, on policy. >> could trump theoretically wake up in 2018 and act as he claimed he can do, as a new, inclusive president and behavior
will change or is this done? >> i think when you support an accused child mo llester, it's hard to walk back. maybe he can change, but there's no way the democrats will let them forget what donald trump is. i don't think he can make enough change. >> what's interesting is you went through the clinton years. it's the economy, stupid. he cannot leave things alone. more is going on in this society and in voter thinking or citizen thinking than the economy. yes, people may get a few hundred dollars more in their paycheck, but people's political behavior is based on more than that. >> it's not just an unemployment number. >> that's what we have seen, especially under donald trump because of the issues he's chosen and the people he goes after. politics is more engrained in
culture than before. you are just as likely to talk about the latest episode about the night before at the water cooler as something donald trump tweeted. he has become much more of a cultural figure than he's ever been. >> that's true. i remember on the night of the alabama election, i was following twitter and seeing one post where this person said, i never paid attention to politics. >> right. >> there were a lot of people like that. one thing in the polls about health care, i think the democrats need to be careful about obamacare and popularity. obamacare is popular like putin is, right? it's the equivalent of having a terrible supermarket. everybody is going to shop there because there's nowhere to shop. when the new one comes in, everybody moves over there. i think health care is still on top of the list tells you
premiums are too high, people don't like the coverage they are getting and they are discontent with where it is. >> is obamacare the new supermarket? >> no, it's the old supermarket. >> is there any indication the republicans have a new supermarket? >> they don't have one. they are promising one, it just hasn't shown up. >> add to that, repeal the mandate. we made that old supermarket even worse because with just the repeal and no fix coming up the pipe, come october, before the 2018 elections, you are going to see an increase in premiums. it's going to be an increase, not just for folks like me who buy an individual plan, it's for everybody because it's shifting the insurance market for everybody. that is going to hurt. >> the poor -- >> it will be everybody else.
>> all i would say is you are right, the individual mandate is the most unpopular element of obamacare. getting rid of it is political win for the republicans. there's another side, it destabilizes the private markets and will cause an increase in premiums. it will cause 10 million to 13 million people to lose coverage. fundamentally, that was for the private market element of obamacare. what it does is takes that one and destabilizes it while doing nothing with the government, which i thought conservatives would, you know, i thought it would be reverse. everyone knows the individual mandate was the byproduct of the heritage foundation. there's an irony where republicans came and had majorities, trump is president, they pledge to repeal and replace obamacare. they end up killing or wounding the private market element of
it, leave the public market element. >> now it really is government run health care. >> what will happen is once democrats take back power, they are going to expand medicaid. they are going to try to expand medicare or a new public option. the further expansion of government run health care. >> health care is number one, tax is second and immigration is third. is that on the table this year? i mean, we talked about the wall, that's a separate issue. is that something the president wants to tackle in 2018, susan? >> if the president is sincere on wanting to work with bipartisan issues, you put that out there. there should be support. it's so hard to figure out with this president because he says, you know, in the press conference or after the bill signing, he wanted to work with democrats. in the same breath, he's saying they don't want to raise your
taxes and make the country less safe. i don't see those great deal making skills at work. that's something that would be acceptable to a core base of republicans, not his core base, but the more moderate republicans and get democratic support. it's a matter of how far will he take that ball down the field before he, you know, basically pulls it away and ends the conversation. >> in that poll, 20% of democrats listed immigration as a concern. you may not have a two-way street on that. let's get to the rex tillerson issue. secretary of state, rex tillerson wrote a new op-ed in the new york times. a year end recap promoting president trump's foreign policy and tillerson's views on where things stand in the world. it touches on north korea and iran and victories made against isis. discussing it, he addresses china's role with import bans
and sanctions and should do more. we will continue to pursue other areas of interest in our relationship. china's troubling military activities in the south china sea and elsewhere. it requires washington and beijing to consider, carefully, how to manage our relationship for the next 50 years. he writes of relations with russia. we have no illusions about the regime we are dealing with. the united states has a poor relationship with russia and invaded georgia and ukraine and they meddled in our elections. the peaceful resolution of ukraine begins with the agreements. there cannot be business as usual with russia. we recognize the need to work with russia, where mutual interest intersection. take the last one first. rhetoric different than we have ever heard from the president of
the united states about russia being too aggressive in the region. >> it's something people like me would love to see. the rhetoric about russia and the document that was released two weeks ago. it doesn't represent the foreign policy of the trump administration. what tillerson said is as a mainstream, democrats and republicans alike. >> if you look at russia and obviously the investigation hangs over everything said about it. in the first 11 months of the trump administration, the way they handled it, if you can put president trump and his rhetoric and position with vladimir putin aside, from a foreign policy diplomatic point of view, how have we handled russia? >> all over the place because of the unsettling of nato allies. the administration asked us to provide anti-tank weapons.
he was the odd man out in the administration and would never do it. this administration thought about it for a year and finally, i think we are doing the right thing, giving the people of ukraine the ability to defend themselves. that was the most interesting thing the administration has done with russia. sanctions are up because of congress, not the administration. >> north korea. this is the point of the op-ed where you take exception. >> they must earn their right to the table. it sounds conditional to me. then he talked about the only acceptable outcome being denuclearization. that's saying we don't care about it. they are not going wake up tomorrow or the day after and say uncle. the sanctions will never be enough to give up their missile inventory. that is their self-preservation. we need to think about what is an interim arrangement?
what can we do. freeze them. stop their testing. i'm not saying give up our military exercise. there's a range of things we could put on the table and i don't see that from this administration. i don't see the secretary of state or anybody else putting forward anything diplomatically. the alternatives are not that great. they are living with north korea that can hit us with nuclear weapons or go into war. neither is an attractive option. >> you can't separate that ideal with the iran deal. to a certain degree, it seems like the trump administration hampers himself. the question is, tell me if i'm wrong here, they hamper themselves when they go and attack the iran deal despite saying they are in compliance and reaching out. you know what? negotiate a deal. can you do them simultaneously? >> it's tough. if you talk an agreement you and
the rest of the international community signed up with iran and you basically walk away from it or in this case, desert fi iran. it's tougher to make the case. that aside, that's a complicated thing. this administration puts pressure on north korea. to their credit, they got the u.n. to put several resolutions and sanctions going up. i don't see evidence to think that sanctions alone are going to be enough to force north korea to do what the administration is asking. >> we are going talk more about this with add miral stavridis. three unnamed sources familiar with that strategy tell "the washington post" that trump attorneys are ready to attack flynn's credibility focusing on his guilty plea for lying to the fbi. he said it himself, he's a liar said one person.
the approach would mark a sharp break for posture toward mike flynn. >> michael flynn is a wonderful man. i think he's been treated very, very unfairly by the media. it's very unfair what's happened to general flynn, the way he's been treated and the documents and papers that were illegally, i stress that, illegally leaked. i feel sorry for him. he was in the army. he was a general. he served many years. he's a general. he's, in my opinion, a very good person. well, i feel badly for general flynn. i feel before badly. he led a very strong life. >> the president was asked about whether he might pardon mike flynn. he said we are not talking about that, yet. let's bring in julia ainsley. good to see you this morning. this isn't the most surprising thing in the world with the
trump team feeling a threat might attack the credibility of michael flynn given that he's pled, he pleaded out to lying to the fbi. >> that's true, willie. it is important to look back at the clips and see how the president has really defended michael flynn in a way he didn't defend paul manafort or other people who have been charged so far in the mueller investigation. as you know, willie, we put a lot of reporting into this flynn investigation to know what a catch he was for robert mueller because of what he knew both from the campaign, the transition and his time in the white house. he has a lot of information on donald trump. it's clear now, they are going on a defensive strategy that includes undermining what michael flynn says, not because they can control what a grand jury decides or what would be decided in a federal court, but they want to control the court of public opinion. they want to make it whatever details emerge from flynn's
testimony and whatever mueller is able to use, it will be sort of, you know, not believed by the public or not believed by some of the republicans who would be deciding, in a hypothetical world whether or not to start calling for more scrutiny of this president as they head into the next congress. >> julia, a question about the staff members in the white house right now. they see that michael flynn is potentially going to be thrown under the bus. someone who the president likes this much and cares for this much is willing to conform to that strategy. what is it doing to inside the white house as far as people talking to their lawyers, trying to get their own pr people to preserve their reputations? >> that's a good question. there's a lot of anxiety, we see it on the surface level from the president in tweets and anxiety from the legal team. there's some sort of strategic calculations we have seen over the past few weeks. for example, vice president mike
pence in an interview with cbs tried to walk away from whether he knew flynn lied to the fbi. he knew flynn lied to him. we want to know when flynn lied to him. did he know that before he sold the lie to the american people? it seems there's a lot of positioning behind the scenes. there is, to some degree, a level of anxiety, even though the legal team said privately they are not concerned. that could be a bit of an overconfidence bluff. >> we are following a new report from yahoo! news, according to two sources, mueller's investigators are questioning rnc staffers about the party's digital operation that worked with the trump campaign to target voters. prosecutors are looking into whether or not the joint effort was linked to the work of russian trolls that box and aim to influence voters in the 2016 election. this could be a sign for the
president's son-in-law, jared kushner, who managed the trump campaign's digital operation. after winning the election, he told "forbes," i called somebody who worked for a technology company and give me a tutorial on using facebook microtargeting. by running the trump campaign, the data operation kushner tipped the states that swung the election. so, connect those dots, if you can, between kushner and the rnc. >> right. we reported a few months ago that the targeting of these facebook ads, they spread false news and also very pro-trump information. really targeted certain states. that was done, in part, by jared kushner's operation and could have been done with the help of a russian backed propaganda machine. we know from people who worked
in this space, when russia decides to influence an election or meddle in another country's affair, they start with propaganda. with social media, it's ease stoi do that. they are looking at two strategies, the one of the trump campaign and one of, perhaps, the kremlin and seeing if they align and more importantly, if they spoke together. it's the same thing they are looking at when looking if donald trump jr. was working with wikileaks. >> fascinating. great reporting. good to have you on. rick, let's go back to michael flynn, he was an early ally of donald trump before people believed he could win. a hard thing for donald trump to speak ill of mike flynn, but, at the end of the day, if it saves him, they are going to take him down. >> general flynn gave the trump candidacy a lot of credibility. he was a general. he had been credited with the
surge, so, he was very vocal. it seemed that trump was saying nice things about the general so the general would continue to say nice things. now there's a strategy shift, right? so, general flynn, it is striking to me that general flynn was the one person who barack obama, a single piece of advice to the president of the united states, one piece of advice, who i hope harry, if you are listening, please invite barack obama to your wedding. >> different story, we'll get to that later. >> he says this guy is a bad guy. >> yeah. >> he proved to be correct. he overrode obama. richard haass would probably want to weigh in here. the national security adviser has to be the single most trusted person of integrity in the administration, now they are going to start a campaign and call him a liar?
it's remarkable. >> he's got to be council to the president and honest. he has to be the guy who everyone else trusts so they work within the system. the idea that the national security adviser went rogue is about as bad as it gets. >> it's just, i mean the story i'm running is obvious. if he's going to derail you, go out and call him a liar. on the other hand, it seems a self-indictment to say this chronological liar guy, we hired him. >> they only hire the best, remember? >> there's limitations. i do wonder, in the end, if leaking this is going to backfire. if you are michael flynn and you read a piece like this, does this make you say, ooh, i'm not going to work with mueller? >> you dig in deeper because you have a son you are worried about as well. still ahead, the president steps away from his mar-a-lago resort to meet with firefighters
and gets in another fight with the facts. we'll explain. bone chilling temperatures taking over the nation. new york city preparing for one of the coldest new year's celebrations on record. bonnie is here with with a check add the forecast. >> it is going to be a cold one for new years. we are looking at cold weather right now. you can see the arctic path blowing behind me. this is what we are facing. minneapolis, three degrees. the windchill at negative 13. st. feels like negative 2. across the country, we are dealing with this big chill. new york city, the windchill dropped in the past hour. it is now at zero. atlantic city feels like a mere one degree. this is record breaking numbers and we have not seen this cold in a long time. cold enough for snow in some locations. minneapolis is getting snow. this clipper system will bring light snow, accumulating an inch of two as it works to the east. we'll get a little of that wintry weather across the region today and tomorrow and even into
the weekend for the start of the new year's weekend. the accumulations will be light with the exceptions of the great lakes, where it may be heavier at times, we could get 3-6 inches. looking at times square, it will be 12 degrees at midnight, but feeling colder than that. you are watching "morning joe," we'll be right back.
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a lot of legislation passed. if we got this one done, we would have succeeded with legislation. i believe, you have to ask those folks, but we have more legislation passed. the railroad was harry truman, a long time ago. >> he said he's passed more legislation in his first year than a president since harry
truman. an examination said trump was in last place among presidents in the number of bills signs back to jimmy carter. in a rough estimate, trump is around 150 bills behind truman. npr said the legislation trump signed found a third of modified and existing programs, 16 appeal rule regulation and more with short term impact. only three relate to new policies, including sanctions against russia and last week's tax bill. the number was in the first 100 days he would pass more legislation but not in the first year. >> i like the category name/statement. it is an important piece of legislation. >> sure. >> this has not been the most productive president. it's been productive in a nonlegislative way. that said, you know, if you hate
it or love it, the tax bill, at the end of the year was a massive overhaul, not just of the tax code, environmental and health care. there is something to hang your hat on. the underreported element of his presidency is how much the judiciary is stacked with not just conservatives. >> right. >> it is amazing, considering we see all these stories processed since it's the end of the year and donald trump insists on ruining his own story. so frustrating for republicans to see they can go home with accomplishments, now we are debating if he knows how to count or if he's just lying. >> it's a weird metric for an alleged conservative republican. >> more laws, more laws, repeal of laws. less government, limited government, no more laws. he's arguing that's the measure of success. it's completely unnecessary. >> a good story there, it's
deregulation. >> yeah. >> the economy right now. >> put it together with the judiciary, isis, he's got the story to tell. >> drilling, everything. coming up, one of our guests says there's a glaring conflict in the president's strategy. we'll talk to evelyn farkas about that and admiral james staph rid us joins us when we come back. another day at the office. why do you put up with it? believe it or not you actually like what you do. even love it. and today, you can do things you never could before. you're working in millions of places at once with iot sensors. analyzing social data on the cloud to create new designs.
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u.s. satellite photos spotted chinese ships selling oil to north korean vessels at sea. such sales violate international sanctions and roughly 30 transactions reportedly have been documented since the beginning of october. the u.s. treasury sanctioned several north korean and chinese shipping companies in november releasing satellite images of their ships partaking in the sales. recent u.n. security hit north korea's oil impockets. it is unclear if beijing or local governments were aware of the sales. joining us, the dean of the
fletcher school of law at tufts university, retired four-star admiral, james stavridis. the director of the wmd commission and i'm told, a student of admiral stavridis. >> a former colleague. >> doctor evelyn farkas. good morning, everybody. evelyn, let's start with the north korean oil story. what does it tell you? >> not that much. the new sanctions they just put in place, they just voted in the u.n. security council are going to clamp down further, 89% of the imports. they haven't been enforced yet. they are brand-new. we need to give them time. the key here is, we have never had this level of sanctions
placed upon north korea. richard is a skeptic. if you give it time, they will have no other option but to talk to us. now, granted, they will want to talk to us with their nuclear capacity, unfortunately. i think the sanctions, ultimately, if we give them time, they will work. there are a couple reasons to take a deep breath and calm down. the biggest one is the olympics coming up in february. nobody wants any kind of conflict before or certainly during the olympics. >> i hope you are right because i'll be there. admiral stavridis, we were talking about the op-ed written by rex tillerson and sanctions not big enough and whether or not we have to sit down without conditions with north korea. what is your position with where we are diplomatically in talking with north korea now? >> first of all, on the photographs of the chinese moving the oil at sea, first of all, i think that's clever, kind of going out and doing it at
sea. secondly, it's like the movie, "ca "casa blanca." i have spoken and written about the idea of a maritime blockade. blockade, a strong word, but maritime separation. that would force china to really comply or not. i think we have really got to push them in that direction. in terms of secretary tillerson and should we sit down without preconditions, i'm in the camp of, yeah, we ought to sit down. i think there ought to be minimal level of preconditions. i think we could probably find trade space in there to get it moving in a better direction. to richard os points, are sanctions enough, they are probably not. it will have to be combined with a maritime operation, maybe cyber activity, a number of other elements. i agree with dr. farkas, my good
friend evelyn, there's the shape of a deal here in 2018. unfortunately, i think we are going to see an aboveground nuclear test that is going to be the catalyst that drives us forward, sometime after the olympics. >> richard? >> where do you want to take the conversation? >> stay with north korea. do you believe they are a rational actor and somebody you can talk to? >> sure. we have sat down with them before. they have broken certain understandings. diplomacy is a tool. the threat of military force. it's a national security instrument that we ought to integrate with everything else. i'm not saying it is the solution. i don't know if it is going to work in advance. there might be preconditions if they start testing. we don't want talks to be a cover for testing. we could say that, we will talk with you as long as you don't test. if you start testing, that's not a situation we can comment.
again, like everything else in life, it's compared to what? we should not be anxious to go to war, gimven the cost of that and not allow north korea to evolve so north korea has 25 nuclear weapons that could reach the united states. you ought to be doing everything using diplomacy, sanctions, the threat of force to see if we can reach, not a solution. that's too big. something that stops the momentum of a war or an arsenal. that's what i would explore. >> there is a school of thought where there's a universe where you have to live with a nuclear north korea. what do you say? >> i don't think we can, as a rule. we can't say we accept this, but the reality is we have done it in other cases. certainly, we accepted pakistan. for a long time, we said they are not officially nuclear states. you know, the international law
and the conventions regarding this issue are clear that only the security councilmembers have the right to nuclear arms at this point. the others have to have safe and peaceful nuclear energy. reality is reality. at some point, maybe north korea's nuclear program can become accepted, but i doubt it. reality is we have to strive for a korean peninsula that is nonnuclear that the south korean government doesn't want nuclear weapons, they don't want u.s. weapons on their territory as they were in the past. nobody wins. frankly, speaking, deterrence is sufficient. >> do you believe admiral stavridis, north korea is a rational actor and somebody we can sit across the table from and have a discussion about tamping down the program and rolling it back? >> i do. i think that the young leader
likes his life. he is leading this kingdom, but vl a hell of a time with a very nice lifestyle and i think he wants that to continue. i believe we can shape, i agree with richard, there's not going to be an e pifmy where we have a solution. i think in the end, we are going to have to live with a level of nuclear program on the part of the north. as a rational actor, he's watched what happened to other thortarian figures, gadhafi who had given up weapons of mass destruction and he doesn't want to end up in that scenario. in that sense, he is rational. that leads us to some level of acceptance of nuclear weapons, unfortunately. >> there's a difference between acceptance. we are not going to say north korea having a nuclear weapon is a wonderful thing or legally
acceptable. the goal of denuclearization should remain. we never want them to think otherwise. living with it, as a temporary reality, while we try to walk it back thart's what foreign polic is about. >> evelyn has a new piece, the glaring omission in trump's national security strategy and how it may impact between russia and china. president trump's national security strategy does not address the international peace and security. indeed, this last omission is linked to the failure to characterize russian and chinese objectives and actions properly. nss introduction asserts china and russian power and interest. this is true, only russia challenged the international order and the fundmental rules and norms. china remains a status quo power. vladimir putin is defiantly facing down the international order, railing against rules he
believes no longer serve his government. expand on that a little bit. >> yeah, so, i'll use another term for it. radical nationalism, populous nationalism. it challenges the national order, based on acceptance of boundary of states. that is the most important one. i can stop there. that's where putin, we have seen him invade two neighbors, georgia, the republic of georgia and ukraine in 2014. he's said he can keep crimea. that was the first forcible altering of borders in europe after world war ii. it's not funny because the hungarian government, the hungarian prime minister, when putin was talking protecting russian ethnic minorities in ukraine, the hungarian prime minister said we have hungarian minorities that need to be protected. that's alarming talk for that part of the world with their history. we also just saw recently, about
two weeks ago, the new austrian government, a nationalist government said we are going to issue passports to italian citizens in a part of italy that used to belong to their empire. they have to be ethnic, german austrians. given the history and the way they went about it, this is dangerous. >> early in your piece, you mentioned that one of the things that our national security strategy does not include is a measure of strengths and values, a belief in democracy, a belief in the individual. now, when we see this with president trump, in some ways he thinks he can act. more importantly, how those values play into the countries you just talked about, the importance of them. >> yeah, and the rules. the rules, the institutions that protect the rules were all set up to essentially protect democracy. that's my perspective on it and i think the american
perspective. protect democracy and individuals and rights. we use the institutions to try to protect democracy and protect our way of life. >> it's dark. 6:45, talking about nuclear testing. >> happy holidays, everybody. >> were you surprised as i was that the national security document came to china and russia with the same brush. evelyn had this in her piece, there's a difference between putin who rejected what we call international order and china, which is still operating largely within it. did that strike you as somehow off? >> it did. kind of similplicit. vladimir putin will be the mediator, which is like hiring dr. kevorkian to come to your bedside. i would say my only point on russia is there's a lot of booby
prizes in this, despite the fact he is winning in syria, he's got a smoking hole in his economy he has to deal with, helping rebuild that country. same in southeastern ukraine. these are tactical feel good wins for russia, but strategically, taking his country in the wrong direction. >> thank you both. happy new year to both of you. coming up, the 13 days in july that changed the trump presidency, but didn't change president trump. we'll have that reporting from jonathan lemire. we thought the alabama senate race was over, but not if roy moore has anything to do with it. the complaint he filed before jones can be declared the winner. your insurance company won't
when the state canvassing board meets later today. in a statement moore's campaign said there was, quote, systematic voter fraud that impacted the outcome and called for a temporary restraining order to postpone the result. the election officials said they found no evidence of voter fraud. the campaign statement gave few details but said moore had taken a polygraph to dispute the sexual misconduct claims. they said jones will be certified. democrats may be feeling some momentum heading into the midterms. party funds could be hard to come by for many contenders. as of december 1st the rnc has $40 million on hand compared to a little over $6 million for the dnc. still the senate democrats have
a tough map ahead in 2018. defending ten seats in states that president trump won. sam, how do you explain the discrepancy there in money with the emergency, the emergency we see among democrats and progressives? >> it's tough to tell, and rick might be able to weigh in on this a little more. we're in an age where the super pac has liberated the individual donor to basically write unlimited checks. so whereas ten years ago those figures would be deeply problematic for democrats, i think we're at a point in time where if one person comes in and is like i'm going to give $50 million to super pac x, it negates that thing. the only other thing i would say, is i think the rnc has done a tremendous job on fundraising. i'm surprised considering the enthusiasm gap. the only other thing is there's a profusion of liberal groups and progressive groups that have
propped up in the trump era that are sucking money. they're encouraging people to run, doing redistricting. maybe the money is going there. finally, i have so ask if roy moore was a supermarket -- >> oh, no. >> i don't even want to. >> i have some. you don't want to connect them with his name. >> yes, yes, i do. are those numbers a problem for democrats? >> sam is right. the parties are as weak as they've ever been because of the citizen's united decision which i felt should go further, but nonetheless, it created superpacs. it doesn't explain the discrepancy between the republican and democratic fundraising. i think it goes back to the scandal in the dnc that this fix was in for hillary clinton. i think -- >> that's a good point. on top of it the way we've seen fundraising evolve over the years is you're going to see crowd sourcing to individual
candidates. you're going to see the small donors. once the candidates are announced or come out of primarying primari primaries, you'll see increased fundraising in smaller dollar amounts. >> certainly energized. >> coming up, president trump has raised michael flynn as a wonderful man and a good person. what would it take for the president to flip on michael flynn? we have new reporting on that. plus, what may have been the wildest two weeks in the white house yet. the president says he regrets hiring his attorney general. sean spicer quits. john kelly is named chief of staff. the fbi raids paul manafort's home, and then there was the mooch. the 13 days that transforms the white house this summer. coming up on "morning joe."
welcome back to "morning joe." as the sun comes up over the united states capitol in washington on thursday, december 28th. joe and mika have the morning off. with us sam stein, republican communications strategist rick tyler. republican strategist and political commentator susan dell purse owe, and richard haas in boots and jeans. and joining the conversation
jonathan lameer. >> i'm wearing a full suit. >> you have jeans on too, rick. just you and me, man. >> and the chucks? that's amazing. it is a holiday week. isn't it? >> let's begin with jonathan's great piece for the associated press. the trump white house us crucible look back at a pivotal 13 days in july for the trump administration. they write events in the second half of july unfolded at breakneck speed. they encapsulated both the promise and peril of donald trump's first year in office. the two-week span layed bare the splintering of donald trump's relationships with cabinet probe. the dramatic last minute defeat of a signature campaign promise and featured a senior staff shakeup that privriveted the
presidency. lessons learn that yielded legislative victories. but the president himself remains unchanged. jonathan, let's take these in order or however you want to tackle them. he starts on july 19th saying he regrets hiring attorney general jeff sessions who is still here as we end the year. >> he is. now, this is the white house that obviously throws out headlines at a dizzying pace all year. this two-year stretch at the end of the july which coincides with scaramucci's tenure in the white house. it encapsulated what happened in the first six months and set the tone going forward. the attorney general, the president held that grudge for a while. he believes the russia probe is what gave him bob mueller, and
now we know he's still angry at the attorney general. it was during this stretch that the president had public broad sides against a sitting member of his cabinet calling him weak. and now we know in december, months later, he's still telling people he's upset. he's gotten to the point as he tries the to assess the roy moore defeat, she's shifted blame from steve bannon to the original advice that had him back in luther strange in the first place. now he says if i had known that sessions was going to recuse himself, i wouldn't have appointed him attorney general. then the seat wouldn't have been open. >> somehow it's session's fault? >> at this point he finds jeff sessions at fault for most things. >> why is jeff sessions still there? donald trump isn't afraid or considers the implications of firing someone. see james comey. >> comey is related to this. i think they feel like if he
fires sessions this will set off alarm bells. part of the chain reaction that could lead to mueller's dismissal. people are in his ear saying this was someone with you all along, but sessions is a long-time senator. a lot of allies on the hill. during this period when trump was sort of threatening sessions in the first place, a number of influential republicans in congress came to his defense and said this would be a mistake. even that bannon wing still feels like this guy is important. he still is popular with the conservative base. they like the work he's doing at doj. firing him would be a mistake. >> plus, who would replace him? how can they get through a confirmation process right now? >> right. during this time, i think it was lindsey graham who said we're not going to try to have hearings. another guy rumored to be on his way out but still there is
rex tillerson. july 20th, the heated meeting with mattis and tillerson. >> that was the meeting known as the tank. it's a windowless room at the pentagon. and they walked through the president sort of making their case why an enlarged american footprint across the globe is important. the president ran on this america first campaign, sort of threatened to pull back american interests throughout or at least wanted to dedicate less money to foreign interests, and they sort of said look, this is why this is important. one of their examples they trotted out was look, this is how the american military and diplomatic presence around the globe affects american businesses. mainly, one business. the trump organization, to make that point clear to the president. and while this was on the surface about the afghanistan strategy and the president did a few weeks later opt to increase slightly the number of troops to keep an american presence in afghanistan j it was larger than
that. it was trying to tell him why all of this mattered. and it was coming out of that meeting that secretary of state rex tillerson reportedly called the president a moron, and it was soon thereafter that dunford urged john kelly to say, look, if the president comes back to you about the chief of staff job which he danced around before, this time you should take it. >> that comes in 13 days as well. i want to ask about rex tillerson and how he's hung in there. this is a guy who ran exxon. he's a private sector mentality, running things the way he wants to. how do you think he's hung in the way he has. and how much longer will he hang in? >> here's a guy with a television persona saying you're fired. he doesn't actually like to seem to fire people. it's almost passive aggressive the way he treats tillerson and sessions. he undermines and sends tweets. saying rex, don't waste your
time on north korea. it's reached where the secretary of state can't speak authoritatively. jim baker, when he spoke, 41 was there. when rex tillerson speaks, people don't know what he's speaking for. he writes a victory lap column in the newspaper, but it's at variance with so much of the president's foreign policy. i think it's up to him how long he stays in there, it seems, but his principal legacy is going to be the dismantling of his own department. this is not a successful tenure at his department. >> july 21st, moving through the week here. >> we're only on the third day. >> this is an incredible stretch. the mooch, scaramucci is named communications director. how did that change the white house? what did it mean? >> everything. those at this table all miss the mooch. for the white house, first, the trump hired scaramucci over sean
spicer's objection. this led to spicer's departure later that day which changed the public face of the white house. and then scaramucci came in and started immediately under the guise of an anti-loop crusade. though it's unclear how much of the influence he had in the final decision, it culminates with trump finally dispatching priebus, doing to as air force one was landing back at joint base andrews after a speech in long island where the president encouraged police officers to rough up suspects. i don't think many dispute the idea that the white house itself is a little bit unorganized now. the paper process is controlled. the oval office door closes sometimes and isn't just grand central station like before when
came were in awandering in and . john kelly said he's not trying to control the president's twitter feed, and that while things around trump work better, the president himself remains out of john kelly's ability to stay on message, to not get in his own way. >> there was the hope from a lot of people that the adult in the room theory which was general kelly was going to come in and change the way the president projected his message, how he tweeted. he may have controlled the traffic. he may have controlled some things, but there's, i think it was always naive to think someone is going to change the way donald trump behaved after 70 years. >> john kelly is he supposed to wake up with donald trump? i mean, how much control can one man have over one man? there's limits. but i would be remiss if we moved so quickly. >> you want to go back to mooch?
>> i want to go back the mooch just because i remember vividly that first press conference. and actually, people were like this guy is kind of a genius at communications, and he's like, answering questions and blowing kisses and people are like this is going to work. >> right there. >> and of course, within a couple of days it blew up. if there ever is a metaphor for the trump presidency, i feel like the mooch is it, and i want him back. >> i think they killed off the show too soon. >> bring him back. >> you're never truly out of the trump orbit. i figure next year sometime we'll have the scaramucci return. >> jonathan, we talk about the 13 days and how transformative they were, but now that we have corey lewandowski outside and the president still speaks to strong bannon and we know there are strong people leaving the administration who are quiet but have been a steadily hand who
are leaving in the next month. >> dena powell, for example. >> soomarosa. >> are we right for another 13 days of this quality? have they learned anything? i don't see it, but based on this reporting, maybe they learned something? >> there's something in the white house, i think there's a sense -- there's a little more confidence. the people who work in the build having a little more hop in their step. they're like at this point the scaramucci tenure we talked to a number of people inside the building who were like the white house, the sea of government, the most famous building in the world is becoming like a joke, and morale was so low in the building. another moment that happens in the 13 days is the defeat of the republican health care bill. that was their number one legislative issue and that went down in defeat. >> has that led to the iron bubble around the white house where they feel under attack? >> there's a sense every day people know what they're doing. people are in the right
meetings. that doesn't always yield successful policy initiatives but people like they're going in the right direction. they're all kind of doing the right thing, and some of the infighting that defined the first six months of the white house has quieted down. >> here's where i have a bit of concern. while john kelly brought order and functionality to the white house and stopped the bleeding, there's no indication yet that he's made it into a place where people of talent want to come and work. so while the white house is losing people like dena powell and rick deerborn and the mooch, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that people capable are coming in taking those positions. >> and the vacant. >> like at the state department. there are monumental issues taking place, and we don't have
anyone of any notable expertise in these critical conditions, and until people are willing to say i don't feel like it's staying on my reputation to come work with the trump administration, we'll have a very important and pretty dark staffing problem happening. >> 150 veteran republican foreign policy hands signed letters critical of candidate trump. it's like original sin. they can't get past it. >> they will never get to work for the guy. i feel like we don't appreciate how critical those absences are until they actually happen and they're critical. >> i think general kelly does deserve some credit. what was happening before he came there, people would wander into the oval office. this is not unique to trump. you have a lot of principals and you're like keep that person away. someone highly emotionally like trump, someone would get the president fired up and he would react. general kelly says we're going in as a team and convince the
president of whatever thing. that doesn't control his personal behavior, but at least the flow of information going to the white house absent the news broadcasts he tends to watch is controlled. >> the two things kelly has not tried to change are the twitter account and the "fox and friends," and there's been moments hawhere the men have chafed. he's gone around kelly to call old friends and find ways around. he really feels like he needs that set of outside people that that's his soundingboard. he feels like that's how he gets his pulse. >> or mar-a-lago. >> that's a good point. we're seeing over the vacation week where the president is not as staffed as he normally would be in the white house, we've seen more of the tweets, more of the attacks for a few days back. in thanksgiving he was wandering around the dining room getting people's opinion on the tax bill. that's still something the president is going to do, and john kelly can't do anything
about it. >> we're only four days into the 13 days and we need a commercial break. we'll talk more about this throughout the morning. a fascinating piece from the ap. still ahead, the best and the biggest and the most. president trump says he signed more legislation than any other president. we'll fact check that claim. plus nbc's hallie jackson joins us from west palm beach as the president winds down his working vacation. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ( ♪ ) ♪ one is the only number ♪ that you'll ever need ♪ staying ahead isn't about waiting for a chance. ♪ because one is... it's about the one bold choice you make that moves you forward. ♪ ...that you ever need the one and only cadillac escalade. come in for our season's best offers and drive out with the perfect 2017 cadillac escalade for you. get this low mileage lease from around $899 per month. ( ♪ )
beach, florida, hallie jackson. hallie, good morning. good to see you. let's talk about the presidential claim yesterday as he visited with the firefighters saying he's passed more legislation in his first year than any president since harry s truman. >> reporter: so our political team ran the numbers as they all want to do. it's not clear what the president is talking act here. let me go through it for you. president trump's past 96 pieces of legislation, he signed 96 bills into law basically. that puts him behind where president obama was at this time, where president bush was and where president clinton was. all of them had more than 100. bill clinton has 208. take out some of the pieces like the commemoration for national heart healthy day. let's say those don't count. even if you move the more symbolic pieces of legislation, president trump is only slightly ahead of president obama and
president bush. but he's still behind president clinton. for numbers, it's not clear what he's talking about. this reiterates what he said in a tweet a while back before he left for west palm beach. he said he had more legislative approva approvals. people said pieces of legislation. he clarified that yesterday. again, the numbers aren't quite matching up. what you said from the president in west palm was a rare appearance outside of a trump branded property. we've only seen him at church and at this fire station. other than that it's been at mar-a-lago or at the golf course. he went out. he was public about this. and i'll tell you. he really is reflective about 2017 right now. he's trying to hammer home, and i'll tell you that white house officials are doing this behind the scenes with reporters trying to hammer home what they believe are their list of accomplishments in 2017. talking about everything from
justi justice neil gorsuch. also talking about deregulation and the number of bills the president has signed into law and the new tax law which was a theme the president kept up. we'll see how the beginning of 2018 ends up. congress gets back to work six days from today. >> and also tweeting his last couple of tweets. one about isis, the defeat of isis, and ms 13, the gangs in the united states. hallie jackson, thank you as always. we'll talk to you soon. joining us now, lege gallagher. >> good morning. >> let's get into your wheel house with the economy. the president will tout the dow and talk about the low unemployment numbers and say it's been a good first year for the economy. obviously a lot of that riding a wave of economic success that came in out of president obama. what's your review of what the economy has done this year under
president trump? >> those things are true. unemployment is very low. the market is on track to just have a really incredible year. of course, that was as you mentioned, in place before trump took office, but it's been an exceptional year for a number of reasons. all global economies for the first time in a long time are really growing in sync. volatility is low. interest rates are low. this tax cut will boost corporate profits and profits are what drive the stock market. most of the predictions for next year are pretty dullish. people are saying most expectations are for another pretty strong year for all those reasons. >> if you look at the gop tax bill, it was sold by the president in the white house as a middle class tax cut. the corporate rate comes down. it benefits a lot of wealthy people at the top end. is it a middle class tax cut?
it expires for the middle class. >> they'll get some additional money in there. they'll get a little more money. but as steve rattner has shown so well with his charts, what they get pales in comparison to what the wealthy and businesses get. tax cuts are about choices. what you do with the resources. the great amount of the $1.3 trillion is going to the wealthy and to corporate being the biggest one. so that's -- and that is fuelling a lot of enthusiasm on wall street and will continue to do so. we saw company saying we're going to give bonuses. it's going to rain money on everybody. and at&t is investing money in the u.s. next year. i think there's going to be a lot more of that, because companies are going to be very, very interested in minimizing -- there's not a lot of public positivity around this bill. they'll want to change that public opinion and want to show
trump he was right, and so the more companies can do, even the seemingly superficial things, i think that's in their benefit and in many ways. i think we'll see more of that which won't hurt things. >> sam, it's criticized the tax plan as being leaning toward corporate interest and toward rich people. it's true some middle class people will see more money in their bank account and they may get more popular over time as it happens. >> criticize is probably the wrong word. factually, it's toward the wealthy and corporations. there is middle class elements to it as well. and i do think there's a very strong likelihood that over time the popularity of this thing will grow as people see more money in their paychecks or take home pay. if at&t does all these things -- they also announced they're firing 1,000 workers. there's a double edged sword. my question is, i don't know this stuff like you do, but it feels so artificial in a way.
a lot of the dow's gains were based, it seems, on expectations that tax reform would pass, and now that it's passed, i guess because there's greater corporate earnings, there might be more gains in the dow. at some point there has to be something structural this is based on. i'm having trouble wrapping my head around what that is. >> corporate profits were strong. it's possible we would still see this kind of performance even without the tax bill. but i think just getting back to the middle class point, there are things in it that people have talked about. the lack of -- the cap and deductions of local and property taxes are going to hurt a lot of people. especially in expensive states, the tristate area of california. somebody when i was home for christmas, somebody knocked on our door saying we're in your area. we're giving free estimates for home renovation. my mother said we're not doing this. our taxes are getting hit because of these changes.
tell your boss that. >> doesn't that go to the point that the dow is no longer really an economic indicator that everyday people look at as far as making judgments on their own finances? >> well, that goes two ways. many americans are invested in the markets through their 401 ks. not everybody that has them, but the market is way more dispersed than it was 20 years ago. so another point i think that is valid is there is a lot of skepticism about what are companies going to do with this refund? are they going to hire people? nobody is saying if i had more money, i would hire more people. that's not the case. there's a lot of thought that they will invest in stock buybacks and paying dividends and we're in this era of financial engineering. it's their money to do what they want this as jamie diamond pointed out. >> stay with us. he's been president for 343 days and by one analysis he has tweeted an arch of 6 -- average
of 6 .6 times a day. steyer: the president's national security adviser -- guilty. his campaign chairman -- under indictment. his son-in-law -- secret talks with russians. the director of the fbi -- fired. special counsel robert mueller's criminal investigation has already shown why the president should be impeached. you can send a message to your representatives at needtoimpeach.com and demand they finally take a stand. this president is not above the law.
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new tax reform law there's been zero appetite for bipartisan wh ship. we sat down with a democrat from pennsylvania. he's the author of "dead center" he served three terms from 2007 to 2013 and was known as a centrist. we started by asking him what was like in the current political climate. >> well, that's what the book is about. you have accountability to your constituents. my district was evenly split. everything i did made after my constituency angry or half happy. i had a representative in washington, a leadership in washington that i had to be accountable also as a member of the democratic party. but what you find is you try to work with the other side. you try to make things in a way that you can compromise, and it's just impossible to do that on capitol hill today. you have a situation where we
elect people from the extremes. most people in the country are in the center. they find themselves waking up everyday thinking about things other than politics. when they do think about it, they want a congress that can work together, can compromise and get things done. that's not what we have. we have a system where we elect people on the extremes, and the people in washington are not representative of those people who just want a congress that can get things done. >> when you get gerrymandering at the top of the list? >> i lost my seat in large part because of that. i did have the feeling -- >> of course. >> when i started to write the book, but over the two-year process, i found out it's more of a symptom than the actual problem. the biggest problem is that we're electing people because of our closed primary system who are from the fringe of both political parties. >> what's the impact when it gets down to discussing a tax
bill, for example? what's the impact on the negotiations? >> the impact is compromise has become a dirty word. you're punished for working with the other side. you have people in washington, a very small group of people who would like to work together and get things done, but for the most part, the people in the leadership, especially and the people driving the train down the tracks, they don't want you to work together and you're punished both in washington and back home for having the idea of working with the other side. >> so -- >> so. i'm sorry. i beg your parten. >> you first. >> mine is quick. when i was a little girl, i loved to read about history. i'll never forget reading about daniel webster, the great compromiser. that was a compliment. his portrait is in the u.s. senate gallery because he know he was a great man. he was a great man because he forced people to come together and keep the union going, keep the nation going. okay. at what point in your career did
you understand compromiser is not a compliment now. compromiser means gutless and possibly immoral? at what point did you know this? >> almost immediately. i came in with a democratic wave of 2006. that wave was driven by independent voters. an 18-point swing in independents. centrist candidates being elected to office. the first thing we encountered in washington was people in the far left democratic side saying put the idea of bipartisanship to the side. what you find in that atmosphere is if you're tagged as somebody who is bipartisan and likes to compromise and work with the other side, they'll use it against you as i found in a later primary. >> and it's only gotten worse? >> yes. >> a little more than 50 years ago we had life altering culture changing legislation. medica medicare, medicaid, voting rights, civil rights. we all realize in reality none
of that could happen today, but today in the congress that you served in, how much of a negative influence, forget the extremes, how much of a negative influence with things like twitter and facebook? >> i have a lot in the book about social media and the impact that that has had. it's had a positive impact for some in that you could have people who in the u.s. senate in particular would have been back benchers for many years and have been able to promote themselves. both parties have seen this. you also have the negativity and the worst of america, and the introduction to my book i talk about the pulse shooting in orlando and the response. you saw the best of america with the first responders and the people lining up to give blood and giving more money than they were capable of giving. you also saw the worst in the response. in casting blame and pointing fingers and trying to gain political advantage and figuring out a way to use a tragedy to gain political advantage. unfortunately, social media is where that plays out. >> all right.
thank you so much for being with us. the book is "dead center". so, jonathan, pick up on the point right there about bipartisanship being dead. about compromise being a dirty word, and apply it to infrastructure which is what president trump would like to tackle next. he's talked about it. he's tweeted about it. is there a chance given the facts that an election year and democrats would not like to be seen working with donald trump and want to win back the congress. is there any chance they get together this year on infrastructure? >> it's pretty unlikely. there's second guessing within the white house that if they opened with it, it could have set a tone, but now the two sides are so entrenched and we see the president saddled with poor polling numbers. there's not much incentive with democrats to work with him even on something that could be popular like infrastructure. the president has made, the
chuck and nancy meetings over the summer. a senator suggested i was an easy get on the tax bill. if they had made a bipartisan overtures to him, he perhaps would have signed on as a democrat to the republican bill that just passed. but that's few and far between. there doesn't seem to be much in the way of energy on the democratic side to reach across the aisle and say we'll work with the president. for for the republicans to other than spouting the words now and then to make any concrete overture and say let's make a deal we can both like. >> the president campaigned it's a deal maker. we haven't seen a lot of deal making since he became president. >> when it comes to negotiating with north korea, this is what the secretary of state said just two weeks ago. >> we're ready to talk any time north korea would like to talk. and we're ready to have the first meeting without precondition. it's not realistic to say we're only going to talk if you come
to the table ready to give up your program. they have too much invested in it. and the president is realistic about that. >> and it didn't take long for the white house to reign in those comments. we'll tell you what rex tillerson is saying now about north korea. plus the boston globe crunched the numbers and found if president trump spends only one minute on each of his tweets, it would come to 40 total hours of tweeting. we have the 32 tweets that e t epitomized his time in the white house. we'll be right back.
a new poll finds one in four americans are comfortable with the president's use of twitter. 59% told the economist poll the president's tweeting is inappropriate. just 26% said the opposite. 15% were not sure. regardless of what americans feel about it, president trump has used twitter to weigh in on just about anything from arnold
sho schwarzenegger's ratings to north korea. are you going to be tweeting and whatever you said just put out there? >> i'm going to be very restrained, if i use it at all. >> he tweeted yesterday. this isn't going to be a one-off. this is going to be every day with him. >> first, it's not a travel ban. >> this was president trump's tweet yesterday. if the ban were announced with a one week notice the bad. he says it's a ban. >> he's using the words the media is using. >> the opinion of this so-called judge write in all caps, see you in court. the president out united states accusing his immediate predecessor of tapping his phone. >> i think the president's tweets speak for themselves.
>> i tweet two or three or four or five times a day. if i make one mistake in a month -- this one, i don't think is going to be a mistake at all. >> this tweet, promoting a show on fox news. one viewers tuned in, this is what the host said. >> paul ryan needs to step down. >> president trump just tweeted the following. mike flynn should ask for immunity and that this is a witch hunt. >> when you are given immunity, that means you've probably committed a crime. >> i would love to see the tweeting stop, but i'd also like to see pigs fly. >> he did what he does so often. he started tweeting. our country needs a good shutdown in september to fix mess. >> the president of the united states tweeted this. james comey better hope there's no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. >> wow. >> that's not a threat. he's simply stating a fact. the tweet speaks for himself. >> i wonder about his
explanation himself. the odd tweed from last night. apparently it speaks for irttse. >> the president is criticizing the mayor of london. he says there's no listen to be alarmed? >> they will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. no reason to be alarmed. >> we need the courts to give us back our rights. we need the travel ban. >> he just basically gave the supreme court of the united states all the ammunition they needed. >> are the tweets official white house statements? >> well, the president is the president of the united states, so they're considered official stanl stan statements by the president of the united states. >> he tweeted they made up a phony collusion with the russians story. found zero proof so now they go for obstruction of justice.
nice. friday morning posted i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me the fire the fbi director. just before the deadline, did anyone think there were tapes? >> i didn't tape it, and i don't have any tape. >> the president tweeted, and i quote, i heard -- >> poorly rated "morning joe" speaks badly of me. don't watch anymore. >> low iq crazy mika and crazy joe. came to mar-a-lago. she was bleeding badly from a facelift. i said no. >> it's been fascinating and frightening and really sad for our country. president trump spent much of his weekend putting his message out on twitter. sending 19 tweets and among the 10, he sent before 8:30 on saturday morning, all agree the u.s. president has the complete power to pardon. yesterday the president tweeted. our beleaguers ag.
donald trump's tweets yesterday seemingly out of the blue, announcing a ban of transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the military. >> north korea best not make any more threats. >> the president tweeting, quote, military solutions are now fully in place. locked and loaded. >> the very outdated filibuster rule must go. mitch m, go to 51 votes now. >> i did mitch, get to work. >> that's the president of the united states who tweeted out -- >> come on. >> that mocking tweet about kim jong-un describing him as rocket man. >> lashing out at the mayor of san juan puerto rico from his country club. >> while he was golfing, the mayor of san juan, puerto rico was up to her neck in water, throwing paper towels at the victims of the hurricane like it was a game. >> tweets the trump made undercut tillerson saying save your emergency, rex. >> let's go to our hong kong
trump tweet desk and willie geist. >> do his tweets make your job more difficult? >> no. >> happy halloween. a scary day for a lot of people. two tweets. sorry, but this is years ago before paul manafort was part of the trump campaign. but why aren't crooked hilly and the dems the focus? >> tweeting, nyc terrorists should get death penalty. >> trump tweeted this. quote, meeting with chuck and nancy today. i don't see a deal. >> president trump has been busy on social media retweeting a series of alarming videos. >> it doesn't matter it was a fake video? >> i'm not talking about the nature of the video. you're focusing on the wrong thing. >> president trump just tweeted lightweight senator kirsten gillibrand would come to my office begging for contributions
and would do anything for them. >> i think only if your mind is in the gutter would you have read it that way. >> if your day is not consumed by getting him to take down that tweet, please leave. >> i think the president's tweets speak for themselves. wow. as sam said, he's having ptsd watching that over the last 11 months. it's funny when you look at the first interview after he was elected. it's hard to remember now, but there was some hope, i think, maybe that he would be humbled by the office and say well i'm sitting at this desk, and i have to comport myself differently. if anything, he's accelerated the tweets. some people hoped foolishly, but they hoped. >> 70-year-old men don't change. look, the shame is twitter is an amazing tool to communicate directly with his constituents or americans, but he is just so -- i don't know the word --
misuses the application. he could be communicating all the things that he should be communicating. he does do that, but he steps on his message and it becomes stories of their own, and then you have just the ridiculousness of the communication staff trying to explain it's not a ban. there's no coordinated messaging coming out of the white house. he constantly contradicts his own effort. >> there's a pattern and rhythm. he would tweet and have sean spicer, sarah sanders or in one case -- >> i've dual feelings about his twitter habits. on the one hand, it's great for business. >> you always hear from him. >> there's always a supply of stuff for us to talk about in the media. in a way it gives us a window of sorts as to what's going on in his head. on the other hand, he's weaponized this as a way to
badger the media, not just by going around the media. he hasn't done a sit-down with a non-fox anchor since lester holt and he rarely does press conferences, but a way to gin the opposition and distrust with the media. we looked a the tweets and the amount of times he went after "new york times," cnn, nbc, msnbc, called people faking news. i think there's a pernicious -- >> to follow up, he did it with the department of justice, too, with the fbi. he's going after law enforcement when he doesn't like what they're doing. it's to create a divisiveness within our country. that's where he uses it the most. he thinks he's crazy like a fox on this. i think he's just creating so many problems for us in a societal and cultural way, but he wants that -- >> it is extraordinary to have this unfiltered insight into the mind of a president. think about going back decades, what the value of that would
have been for his predecessors, for the american media and the public, to get the sense of what the president is saying. in this case, of course, he uses it in such a negative and weaponized way and pedals in untruths and diminishes the credibility of the office. 140 characters, these days 280, can say something like, accuse president obama of wiretapping, calls a bad or sick guy. that's not true. >> one thing i've observed which is that there is so much power to morning shows now, specifically "fox & friends" and even the kyron operators at "fox & friends" because it's very clear from their fingers or lips to his ears, to his twitter account. that has the ability to move not just markets but geopolitical strategies, politics, congressional meetings and so on. it's an insane way that we've been operating. >> we've had a number of times
in the last 11 months, we'll be conducting an interview in this show and literally three minutes later there's a tweet put out that's a direct rebuttal to something that a guest has said. >> people who used to surrogate for donald trump -- which is important, you have people go on the shows and defend the administration's point of view, there are less and less of them because they know at any time they'll be contradicted. the lester holt is the perfect example of that. >> the ugliness of attacking the mayor of san juan. when he says we're locked and loaded with regard to north korea, would there be a tweet that is misconstrued. these things have real world implications. >> the word tweet is light and fun and so diminishes what is going on. these are presidential statements. he's said it to companies, taken billions of market caps off companies.
funny, in 2012 he tweeted this is like owning a newspaper without the losses. that is what it is. >> and yet those tweets are watched nervously in capitals across the globe. it's not just the economic impact. it sets foreign policy. every time he tweets about kim jong-un, you don't think in seoul and tokyo, the alarm bells are going off. >> he tweeted that but he hasn't followed up, so he undermines his own credibility with the dictator. >> john, you're coming back tomorrow? >> i am. >> still ahead, a new poll shows more than half of americans says the united states is worse off since donald trump became president. we'll tell you the issue people are most concerned about. it's not the economy. robert mueller zeros in on the train's data operation as the president's legal team prepares to zero in on michael flynn's lying to the fbi. where the russia investigation stands heading into 2018.
♪ >> good morning. it's thursday, december 28th. welcome to "morning joe." i'm willie geist. joe and mika have the morning off. with us, politics editor for "the daily beast," sam stein. republican campaign strategist rick tyler. republican strategist susan del percio, president of the council on foreign relations and author of "the world in disarray"
richard haass. the paperback comes out next week and we've got a little addendum to it. >> 5,000 word afterword focusing on the foreign policy of donald trump. >> what's the one-line takeaway out of those 5,000 words. he's a disruptive, not a preserve very. as a result, the united states which has been the foundation of the world for the last 75 years no longer is. >> the world is still in disarray. >> in greater disarray. >> we'll talk more about rex tillerson's op ed, what he wrote about north korea and why you think that might not be the best posture. heading into the new year, taxes, environment, immigration ended toward the top of most people's list when asked which issues should the government address in 2018. topping that list was health care. asked to volunteer five issues, 48% of americans say health care is the top domestic issue. is up 5% from 2017 and 17% from
2016. at 31%, concerns about taxes also increased by 17%. respondents were asked about president trump's performance. less than half say president trump fulfilled his campaign promises. a majority of democrats say he did not. after his first year in office, 71% of americans say the country is going in the wrong direction. when asked if the country as a whole has been better off since trump took office, 52% say we're worse off, 25% saying the country is better off. >> those are startling numbers. >> good numbers for trump, right? >> those are terrible numbers for trump. in particular, if you look at the stock market and the economy and gdp growth over the last two quarters and the projected gdp growth, this president should be riding high. he should be getting what a normal president would get in his first year, in the 60%, 70% range and he is not.
>> sam. >> those are abysmal numbers. i agree with rick. theoretically this is the high watermark for him. i don't see what kind of major legislation they can do next year although they can continue packing the judiciary. what stands out is health care. 48% worried about health care is a terrible, terrible number for the republican party because they are burdened with having whacked obamacare without replacing anything there. the irony is they made baurk less on the private side while the government subsidies is likely to be intact, more or less. so it's the opposite after what you would consider conservative reform authored by a republican congress and a republican president. they get none of the benefits. >> susan, what hops off the age? >> if you look deeper into the numbers, you see when the -- notice how the president is handling the economy and other issues, he tends to trend better, up in the high 40s.
what this tells me is that people are very disappointed in donald trump and the divisiveness he has caused in this country. it fights every single success he may have. one step forward, he creates two steps back. it's his popularity and basically creating culture wars that have really turned off the american public to him, not so much the things he's done as president on policy. >> my question is, could thump theoretically wake up in 2018 and act, as he claims he can do, as a new inclusive president and voter behavior will change? >> i think when you support an accused child molester, that's hard to walk back. when you've had charlottesville -- his history, maybe he could change, but there's no way democrats would let them forget what donald trump is. >> what's interesting to me, you went through the clinton years,
it's the economy. what this shows is man cannot live by bread alone. there's more going on in this society, more going on in voter thinking or citizen thinking than simply the economy. yes, people may get a few hundred dollars more in their paycheck as a result of the tax cut. but people's political behavior seems to be based on a lot more. >> but the economy is not just an unemployment number in the stock market dpl that's what we've seen. we've seen especially under donald trump because of some of the issues he's chosen and the people he goes after, our politics has become much more engrained in our culture than ever before. you're just as likely to hear the episode from the night before at the water cooler as something that donald trump tweeted. he's become more a cultural figure than any president has ever been. >> that's definitely true. on the night of the alabama election i was following my twitter feed. i saw one post where the person
said i never paid attention to politics. i'm in the middle of the night following a race in alabama. >> that's right. >> a lot of people like that. one thing in the polls about health care, health care -- i think the drks need to be careful about obamacare and his popularity. obamacare is popular like putin is popular. it's the equivalent of having a terrible supermarket in your little hometown. everybody is going to shop there because there's no place else to shop. when the new supermarket comes in with better prices, better quality, everybody moves over there. health care at the top of the list says premiums are too high, people don't like the coverage they're getting and they're discontent -- >> the obamacare the new supermarket? >> it's the old supermarket. they don't have a new supermarket. that's the problem.
>> add to that, with repeal of the mandate, we actually made the old supermarket even worse because with just the repeal and no fixes coming up the pike, come october, right before the 2018 elections, you're going to see an increase in premiums. it's going to be an increase not just for the folks like me who had to buy an individual plan. it's for everybody. it's dramatically shifting the insurance market for everybody. so that is going to hurt. >> trying to extend -- is the individual mandate like the food supply in the supermarket? i'm trying to figure out -- >> now you've lost me. >> i would say you're right, the individual mandate is probably the most unpopular element of obamacare. there's a case to be made that getting rid of it is a political boone for republicans. it destabilizes the private markets. it can cause an increase in premiums. >> for the middle class? >> yes. will cause 10 to 13 million
people to lose coverage. all these things matter politically, too. fundamentally that was a prop-up for the private market element of obamacare. what it does is it takes that and destabilizes it while doing nothing with the federal government element of obamacare which i thought conservatives, i thought it would be reversed. everyone knows the individual mandate was the byproduct of the heritage foundation which is a conservative think tank. republicans came, had the majority, trump is pledgresiden. they leave the public market element of it and don't have a full comprehensive replacement. what ends up happening down the road, when democrats take back power, they'll expand medicaid, try to expand medicare or create a new public option. conservatives have facilitated the further expansion of government-run health care by
doing it this way. >> if you look down that list, health care is number one concern, taxes is second, immigration is the third. is that on the table this year? we talked about the wall. i think that's a separate issue. is that something the president wants to tackle inerrest in 2018, susan? >> if the president is sincere, that would be one, you'd put daca out there. that's something there should be support among. it's so hard to figure out with this president because he says -- in the press conference or after the bill signing, he said he wanted to work with democrats. in the same breath he's saying they want to raise your taxes and make the country less safe. so i don't see those great dealmaking skills at work. that's something that would be acceptable to a core base of republicans, not his core base, but the more moderate republicans and he could get democratic support on. it's a matter of how far will he take that ball down the field before he basically pulls it
away and ends the conversation. >> in that poll, only 20% of democrats listed immigration as a major concern. may not have that two-way street on the issue. amid reports of turmoil at the state department and imminent departure of its leader, secretary of state rex tillerson has written a new op ed in "the new york times." a year-end recap promoting president trump's foreign policy vision and detailing tillerson's views on where things stand in the world. it touches at the strategies amtd at north korea and iran and victories made against isis. while discussing north korea, tillerson addresses china's roelt writing, quote, china has applied certain import bans and sanctions and it could and should do more. we'll also continue to pursue americ american interests including trade imbalances, intellectual property theft and military exercises in the south china sea. china's rise as an economic and military power requires washington and beijing to consider carefully how to manage the relationship for the next 50
years. he also writes about russia, we have no illusions about the regime we're dealing with. the united states has a poor relationship with a resurgent russia that has invaded neighbors georgia and ukraine and undermined the sovereignty of western nations by meddling in our elections and others. absent the peaceful resolution of the ukraine situation, there cannot be business as usual with russia. while we're on guard against russian aggression we recognize the need to work with russia where mutual interests intersect. let's take the last one first, richard. rhetoric different from anything we've heard from the president of the united states. >> the rhetoric is what people like me like to see, exactly what you see about russia in the national security document. the only problem is it doesn't represent the foreign policy of the trump administration. what rex tillerson said in the article about russia was as mainstream or foreign policy view, democrats and republicans
alike, the question is implementation. >> if you look at russia and obviously the investigation, bob mueller, the first 11 months of the trump administration, the way they've handled it, if you can somehow put trz and his rhetoric and position with vladimir putin to the side, just from a foreign policy, diplomatic point of view. >> it's been all over the place, a lot of unsettling of the nato allies. the one thing that was consistent is the other day theed a registration announced we'd provide defensive antitank weapons. it's an issue barack obama thought about for several years. he was the odd man out in his own administration. he would never do it. this administration thought about it for a year and finally i think we're doing the right thing, giving the people of ukraine the ability to help defend themselves. that is the most interesting thing the administration has done about russia. it's more because of congress
than the administration. >> north korea, i think this is the point of the op ed where you may take some exception. >> he said north koreans must earn their right to the table which sounds conditional. denuclearization, north korea is not going to ek wah up tomorrow or the day after tomorrow and say uncle. the sanctions will never be enough for north korea to give up its nuclear missile inventory. that to them is their self-preservation. that's their lifeline. what we need to think about is what's an interim rangement? i would say let's freeze the north korean arsenal. what might we put on the table for that? i'm not saying we should give up our military exercise, there's a range of things economically, politically strategically we can put on the table. i don't see that from this administration. i don't see the secretary of state or anybody else putting forth anything diplomatically. it's not like the alternatives are that great.
the two principle alternatives are living with a north korea that can hit us with nuclear weapons or going to war. neither one is a terribly attractive action. still ahead on "morning joe," is president trump willing to flip on michael flynn. information that he may start naming names to bob mueller. as pennsylvania digs out, new york city gearing um for one of the coldest new year's eve celebrations on record. we are dealing with such cold out there. the arctic express of air, unfortunately spreading and bringing widespread cold to so many across america. this is going to be a cold new year's and new year's eve webbing end. temperatures this morning, the windchill fact tour, feels like well below zero. the difference is a lot of this worked its way to the east. right now the windchill factor in new york city is a mere 1 degree. feels like 2 in atlantic city
and 2 in pittsburgh. the windchills will be getting colder. watching light snow, a clipper system coming through. this will be not too much in terms of accumulation, but a nuisance for those of you traveling. watch out for the snow working through the great lakes and bringing light snow to the northeast. we'll see more cold air unfortunately behind it. snowfall accumulations, for the most part it will be light with the exception of the great lakes. how about new year's eve plans? if you're headed to times square, look at this, 11 degrees with a windchill near zero. it's going to be a cold new year's. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
wrongdoing. three sources familiar with the strategy tell "the washington post" that trump attorneys are ready to attack flynn's credibility focusing on his guilty plea for lying to the fbi. they write, he said it himself, he's a liar, said one person. the approach would mark a sharp break from trump's earlier forgiving posture toward michael flynn. >> michael flynn, general flynn is a wonderful man. i think he's been treated very, very unfairly by the media. i think it's very, very unfair what's happened to general flynn, the way he was treated and the documents and papers that were illegally -- i stress that -- illegally leaked. >> i do feel badly for him. he served the country, he was a general. >> this man has served for many years, he's a general. he's in my opinion a very good person. >> i feel badly for general flynn. i feel very badly. he's led a very strong life. >> the president also there was asked about whether or not he might pardon michael flynn.
he said we're not talking about that yet. let's bring in nbc news national security and justice reporter julia ainsley. good to see you this morning. i guess this isn't the most surprising thing in the rld would, the trump defense team with a back against the wall might attack the credibility of michael flynn given he's now pled, pleaded out to lying to the fbi. >> right. that's true, willie. it is important to look back at all those clips and see how the president has really defended michael flynn in a way he didn't defend paul manafort or other people who have been charged so far in the mueller investigation. as you know, willie, we've put a lot of reporting into this flynn investigation to know what a big catch he was for robert mueller because of what he knew. those from the campaign, the transition and his time in the white house. he has a lot of information on donald trump. so it's clear now that they're going on a defensive strategy that includes undermining what michael flynn says, not because
they can control what a grand jury decides or what would ultimately be decided in a federal court, but possibly because they want to control the court of public opinion. they want to make it so whatever details emerge from flynn's testimony, whatever robert mueller is able to use, it will be not believed by the public or maybe not believed by some of the republicans who would be deciding, in a hypothetical world, whether or not to start calling for more scrutiny of this president as they head into the next congress. >> julia, a question about the staff members and the white house right now. they see that michael flynn is potentially going to be thrown under the bus. if someone who the president likes this much and cares for this much, he's willing to perform that kind of strategy, what's it doing inside the white house as far as people talking to their lawyers, trying to get their own pr people, et cetera, to preserve their representations? >> that's a great question. we know there's a lot of
anxiety. we certainly see it on the he puts a lot of anxiety in his tweets. we know there's anxiety from the legal team. there are also some sort of strategic calculations and positioning we've seen just over the past few weeks. for example, vice president mike pence in an interview he did with cbs really tried to walk away from whether he knew that flynn lied to the fbi. he said he knew flynn lied to him. we want to know when he knew flien lied to him. did he know before he went out and sold that lie to the american people. it seems there's a lot of positioning behind the scenes because there is, to a degree, some level of anxiety even though the legal team has said privately that they're not concerned, that could be a bit of an overconfidence bluff. >> coming up on "morning joe," from the travel ban to tax cuts, nbc news is counting down the top ten political moments of 2017. that's next on "morning joe."
>> this is the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration period. >> sean spicer, our press secretary gave alternative facts. >> misrepresenting the facts of accusations of wiretapping to president obama. >> i was given that information. >> at number nine, the travel ban battle. >> we'll have a very, very strict ban and we'll have extreme vetting. >> reporter: trump's executive order sparking nationwide protests. later scaled back in the courts but then allowed to partially go in effect. at number eight, the republican civil war. >> i'm very disappointed in mitch. >> reporter: the president on the attack with republicans fighting back. >> i don't know what else there is to say today. >> mr. president i rise today to say enough. >> reporter: and fighting each other. >> there's a special place in hell for republicans who should know better. >> looked like some disshefld
drunk that wandered in off the street. >> reporter: racial tensions. >> this car plowed into a crowd of people killing at least one person. >> you will not replace us. >> reporter: president trum taking heat for not taking sides. >> i think there's blame on both sides. >> reporter: number six, west wing exits. >> michael flynn has resigned. >> reporter: priebus becomes the shortest serving white house chief of staff ever. >> reporter: a cascade of high profile departures. >> i'm a business person. i'm used to dealing with friction. >> reporter: anthony scaramucci kissing his communications job good buy after just ten days. erasing the obama legacy at number five. >> hi' been very active in overturning a number of executive actions by my predecessor. >> reporter: from the transpacific trade deal to the paris climate accord to baem's signature law. >> we're now one step closer to
liberating our citizens from this obamacare nightmare. >> reporter: although republicans failed to get that done, they did repeal the individual mandate. >> this is shameful. >> reporter: at number four, trump reshapes the courts. >> i neil gorsuch -- >> reporter: gorsuch sworn in. the lower courts where the president is reshaping the judiciary. >> the senate confirmed 12 trump nominees to the federal appeals court, a record for a president's first year in office. >> that has consequences 40 years out. >> reporter: at number three, massive tax cuts. >> we want to give you, the american people, a giant tax cut for christmas. >> reporter: president trump finally delivered his first major legislative win. >> nothing short of extraordinary. >> this is a great day for the country. >> it's the worst bill in the history of the united states congress. >> merry christmas, america. >> reporter: number two, allegations of sexual misconduct
rocking the political world. >> at 14 i was not dating. he removed my clothing, he touched me over my clothing. >> i have emphatically denied time and time again. >> reporter: alabama voters delivering a stinging rebuke of roy moore. >> his lips were really wet and it was slimily. >> i remember very differently. i apologize to her and i meant it. >> reporter: republicans and democrats accused, part of a national reckoning. >> i will be resigning as a member of the united states senate. >> reporter: the number one political story of 2017, the russia investigation. >> no collusion, no collusion. >> i take the president at his word that i was fired because of the russia investigation. >> director mueller is appropriately remaining in scope. >> i do not collude with russia, nor do i know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. >> reporter: michael flynn has just pleaded guilty to a charge of lying to the fbi. >> reporter: the president
fuming as the special counsel zeros in on his west wing. >> no. russia did not help me, okay? i call it the russian hoax. >> thanks to peter alexander for that. politics aside, 2017 also saw the passing of some important public figures, among them mary tyler moore who helped redefine the image of women in the workplace. we'll talk about her legacy and more straight ahead on "morning joe." it's the final days of the ford year end sales event.
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such a challenge. according to data from gallop and the "wall street journal" poll, president trump has the lowest approval rating of any president at this point in his term. democrats currently enjoy an 11-point advantage. the republican party has suffered a string of setbacks including the loss of a u.s. senate seat in alabama and at least 14 state legislative seats. republicans lost the virginia governor's race by a larger margin than in 2016 and in the presidential race while suffering local defeats in what had been their pennsylvania and new york strongholds. gallop found the number of self-identified republicans dropped five points to 37% of americans. joining the table, former governor of vermont and the former chairman of the democrat national committee howard dean. governor, good to see you. >> thanks for having me on. >> if you were the chairman of the dnc today, how excited would you be about taking back
congress in 2018? >> it's going to happen. it's going to happen because the field organization are built by the people who vote for us who are not necessarily democrats. we won virginia, the dnc did a good job, but we won because of groups like run for something and indivisible, color of change, voter latino. how do you coordinate these groups. these kids don't believe in institutions but they're unbelievably powerful. >> do you worry at all that alabama, might have been a case of a terrible candidate losing and that's why the democratic took back the seat. is all this enthusiasm at the grassroots going to sweep into sweeping electoral victories? >> it will. in alabama black women voted 98% for doug jones. doug jones is going to be a good senator and an incumbent. he still has an uphill climb, but i think he can hold that seat. >> what do you think? do you think it's a wave election year for democrats? >> it's looking that way.
when you talk about local races in pennsylvania and new york strongholds. for example, in westchester county with the highest property taxes in the country which will be killed by this recent tax bill, they had 46% more people voting on the democrat line in 2017 than in 2013. 46% turnout. nassau county, similar way, 31%. it's interesting bill deblasio got 10,000 less votes, his popularity numbers were down. so it wasn't a progressive thing. it was an woman and independent turnout thing voting against president trump. that's the only way those numbers kind of match up. >> in fairness, the county executive in nassau is on his way to jail. >> but it was a republican stronghold. it had been for decades and you had a viable, strong viable republican in there. when you look at the turnout
numbers, that would explain the losses, but the turnout numbers among independents and women showing up at the polls, matching what happened in virginia, matching under different circumstances in alabama because i think that's an outlier, virginia, pennsylvania, new york, those kind of races where the turnout is so drastically skewed, i think that's what people expect when it comes to a wave election. >> what about the message of the dem party. that's the criticism in 2016. >> there's always criticism. moaning from inside the beltway. >> people who didn't support hillary clinton who flipped from obama to donald trump. >> i think we had a message problem in 2016. >> that's what i mean. what's the message in 2018? >> this is how it works and this is how it worked against obama. in the off-year elections for congress, your message is "i'm not the president." we're going to have more than that. actually i hope we adopt some of the economic populism that trump
claimed he was going to do and then, of course, screwed all the people who voted for him. in 2018, not being donald trump is enough. the republican party is going to get nailed with corruption because of the tax bill. 14 republican senators who voted for that tax bill are making a million dollars or more, sometimes off $10 million off a provision slipped in at the last minute by orrin hatch. you cannot be voting to line your own pockets. people don't like that, i don't care what party you're in. they're going to have a head wind. in 2020 you can't win the presidency without a positive message about what you're going to do. i think trump is not going to get a challenge. >> what? >> he's got total control of the republican base. >> i totally disagree. >> i think he's going to get a challenge, even from a republican of an independent bent. >> it seems like the simplest maneuver for an ambitious, centrist-minded republican right now. there's all these profiles of
trump country and why voters are sticking to them, the statistics show he's bleeding republican voters. he's bleeding republican voters who are tired of his policies. if you're an ambitious-minded republican, the simplest thing you can do is -- you will get killed, you will become the face of the opposition much the way joe lieberman was for drks. >> there's a lot of people wanting to win re-election in 2018 who are not rocking the boat. then after 2018 you'll see people rock the boat. this sets up in every way -- this is going to be about trump, it's going to be a democratic year. the party in power usually loses seats, it's going to be a democratic year. so we'll see. americans like divided government. i think they will check the president. >> let's talk about, howard, where the progressive movement is right now, somebody who has represented in it and been
invested in it from the women's march forward. it's been a year of energy for progressive groups. can they keep up that energy? >> i think the progressives are in the process of informally taking over the democratic party. i think the country has moved to the left. it's shocking to me but a majority of americans think medicare for all is a good idea. that, bernie gets a lot of credit for that. i don't think he's going to be the next nominee. he could be. i'm very much for somebody who is younger. i think my generation has to get the hell out of politics, start coaching, and start moving up this new generation who are more fiscally sane. neither republicans or democrats can claim they're fiscally responsible anymore after what republicans just did with this tax bill. this young generation is going to pay for that if we don't get the hell out of the way and have somebody who is 50 running the country. >> that means no bernie sanders, no joe biden. >> they may well. i'll support somebody who is younger in the next generation.
i don't know who it is yet. >> do you have anybody in mind? >> there's a bunch of people are terrific. chris murphy from connecticut, kamala harris, kir stint gillibra gillibrand, eric garcetti. there's tons of other young people. we were joking before the show, sam and i -- this segment, and i wouldn't be surprised if we saw 17 people running. >> looked like the republican primary last time around. >> hopefully there won't be people in there just for the fun of it. >> who end up winning it. >> touche. >> governor, good to see you. good luck with the cold in vermont today. >> thank you. up next, new york city marks a major milestone, something not seen in generations. we'll explain that next.
with the exception of some cities like chicago and baltimore, crime across the country has been falling in recent years. new york city is on track for one of its safest years in more than six decades, especially many terms of murders. there were 286 murders in the five boroughs as of yesterday compared to 329 at the same time last year. the record low for a full year was in 2014 which 333 murders. in fact, crime has fallen in all major felony categories
including rape, assault, burglary and robbery in new york. as of sunday, there were just under 95,000 incidents. that's well below the previous record low set last year of more than 101,000. this in a city of 8.5 million people. joining us msnbc chief legal correspondent and host of "the beat" on msnbc, ari melber. the legal unit is out this morning with a new report on police fatalities by gunfire in the line of duty this year. what did you find? >> this is a report we do at the end of every year to look at every officer killed in the line of duty and speak with their families. diana and i in our legal unit have done that. what we're seeing is fewer officers dying by gunfire. 44 killed so far in 2017. there was that spike last year that you see, 66. this is a return to a number we've seen more frequently in the 40s there, that's the 2015
numbers. the ambush attacks which spiked. law enforcement sources reflect a collective antipathy. that also falling which a lot of folks see as good news down to eight this past year. there was that speak all the way up to 21 the previous year. i can show you law enforcement memorial fund does this tracking, and we work with them on this account. i can show you some of the photos they've gathered of all these different people and families. these are the faces of officers around the country. obviously it looks like the whole country in terms of the great range, men, women, people from all places and all walks of life who have given their lives in service. we spoke to many of them, and i'll share a couple of the stories because that's what this is about. a detective mia sotos familiar yeah, an nypd officer who was shot in the head on due think this year in what looked like a targeted attack. we spoke to her sister mercedes,
behind that badge, underneath that blue, they're human beings, they're people that have families. she emphasized to us that while she wants officers to respect citizens, one thing she was thinking about in honoring her sister's service is how important it is to respect the police. she feels at times it doesn't happen. another person we spoke to was stephen ballard's wife, louise cummings. she says she's come to peace with this at the end of the year, he needed to die and be a hero for all. a lot of the families, widows and survivors talked about how they were making sense of this tremendous loss by thinking about the heroism and service of their family members. >> i've gotten to know some of the nypd families of the fallen. i don't think we think about what happens when they're going out the door, the kiss could be
the last kiss. the same feeling when a family sends someone on a cargo plane to head to iraq. i'm glad you brought the human element into this. the 44 officer deaths in 2017, that's a return to a more normal number in that 2016 was just an elevated number. >> 2016 looks like an elevated year. >> what caused that spike in it was a lot higher. >> it was higher. the ambush attacks were part of that. in 2016 there were group attacks where officers were killed or mode e mowed down. we've had years of coverage of allegations of police brutality and misconduct and there have been cases that have proven that. the community, what we hear at the end of the year, and this is true in both years, that feeling of being under attack, of worrying about the collective views of law enforcement. another story, since you mentioned the thinking about the officers' families you've spoken
to. michael middlebrooks wife adrian was telling us how she still waits for him to return home. that she thinks about the time of the day that's the end of his shift and then has to recall he's not coming home. >> it's a good time of year to thank again the officers who wear the badge and step out of their homes every day to protect rest of us. and again, in new york city, are doing a job that can only be described as extraordinary, remarkable. only 286 murders in a city of 8.5 million people, it's incredible. >> and you're pointing your finger on where it all ties together. we're seeing these falling crime rates in many parts of the country because, in part, of the great work the officers are doing. >> fascinating stuff. we'll see ari on the beat killing it at 6 p.m. every night on msnbc. coming up next, remembering the lives they lived. "the new york times" magazine's annual issue is next on morning joe. ♪
almost think of the note prior to it as being your most important note. so [singing]... if you nail that, then you're golden. ♪ i look where the rim and the net meet. put that basketball right on those hooks, and that's what i lock in on. ♪ let's talk about the equation of cooking. ingredients, and execution. the ingredients are controlled by somebody else. execution is all about you. ♪
how old are you? >> 30. >> no hedging. no how old do i look. >> why hedge. how old do i look? >> 30. what religion are you? >> mr. grant, i don't quite know how to say that but you're not allowed to ask that when someone's applying for a job. it's against the law. >> want to call a cop? you know what. you got spunk. >> well -- >> i hate spunk. >> that is the great mary tyler moore who died in january at the age of 60. she's among the public figures commemorated in this year's annual the lives they lived issue of "the new york times" magazine. joining us now is the magazine's deputy editor. thank you for being here. this is always such a beautiful collection. we should point out right away it's not a celebrity in memoriam. tom petty's not in there, hugh
hefner, some names like that. what was the criteria? >> this is one of our favorite issues that readers get every year. it always sort of inspires us how moved they are by it. every year, we try to collect a group of people who range from, you know, very famous like mary tyler moore or adam west, the original batman who died this year. but really trying to focus on the more kind of interesting people who our readers might not have heard about but where we can really instill their stories with an incredible amount of sort of moving detail and make people really understand what they added. >> some other extraordinary people in there and we'll do a couple of the big names, dick gregory, tremendous comedian and actor and civil rights activist as well. >> that's right. a couple of people who -- there are two sort of young women who -- academics who died. a young math ematician who was
the only woman ever to win the field's highest prize. and a philosopher. and these were two women who were transformative in their fields but died far too young. then we even included some stories of just everyday folks. there's a fella named cheo who one of our reporters, in the aftermath of hurricane maria, went out and sort of told the story of this man who died, you know, tragically during the hurricane for lack of oxygen but she sort of went back and kind of animated his whole life, you know. and that kind of mix of people from the sort of the best known to the littlest known is part of what makes this issue so inspiring to put together. >> as we came in, i said mary tyler moore died at the age of 60. she was of course 80 years old. i misspoke there. tell me about roreo. >> the brand of rock climbing gear named for him. >> we have a writer who's a real climbing enthusiast and he went back and sort of told the story
of roreo robins, you know, somebody who put rock climbing on the map mostly during the 1960s and 1970s. he had thriis rivalry with anotr climber and one of them would go up, you know, some rock and the other one would come along and do it in a bigger and better and more adventuresome way. you know, there's a lot of names like that of people who, you know, were household names even in their day but where one of the things i think we respond to emotionally with looking back on people who we lost in any given year is kind of remembering what they were to us and to the culture. >> i didn't know he died. >> yes, that's right. >> i was not aware he died so i think you're doing a service there. >> or think about like erin m e moran who played joanie in "happy days" who sort of fell off the map and now tragically we can celebrate them again. >> for me it was hugh hefner.
for reasons that are a little bit tough to explain. but, you know, he symbolized different things to different people. obviously there was the misogyny of playboy. and it seemed almost cosmic in a way he died right as we were entering this incredible moment of self-reflection about how we handle sexual assault, sexual harassment in the workplace but also societywide. it was a moment of reflection. i wonder, like, how we reconsider his legacy considering the moment that we're in? >> he's not in the issue by the way. >> no, he's not in the issue. >> oh, excuse me. >> but in part -- >> but that was good. >> i think we'll -- >> well, time to revise the issue. >> when he died, i think it was a recognition of just the incredible power for good and for bad that he had on culture, you know. and i think that you're right, though, that in the wake of the sort of weinstein moment, the me too moment, that i think it really is true that we kind of live in this world that hugh
hefner created. >> this edition, what's so great about the "new york times," so great about the obit page is that really it's a celebration of these people's lives. whose names you might not have known but you read through and go, oh, my god, that person changed my life. like a guy who invented a vac keen. all these people whose names are anonymous to the rest of the world who changed the world. it's a great collection every year. we appreciate you being here. >> thank you so much. >> "the new york times" magazine's annual the lives they lived issue is online now. bill, thank you so much. well, that's going to do it for us this morning. ayman mohyeldin takes it now. >> good morning, i'm ayman mohyeldin in for stephanie ruhle.
a new report reveals that trump's legal team is gearing up for a fight, planning to go after michael flynn as a liar to save his own skin if he accuses the president of any wrongdoing. this as robert mueller reportedly takes aim at jared kushner and the digital arm of the rnc. back for more. hours before alabama is set to certify results of the special election, roy moore launches a court battle to block it alleging voter fraud. to pay or not to pay. thousands of americans rush to their local offices in a mad dash to prepay their property taxes but the irs says not so fast as it scrambles to clarify what's actually in last week's tax bill. and what you may have missed. ethnic cleansing in myanmar, escalating death and destruction in yemen and chaos in venezuela. we take a closer look at the critical stories that you may have missed this year. all right, everyone, we begin with startling new revelations about president trump's legal team reportedly planning a smear campaign against former national